Established form: republic
Type of government: parliamentary democracy
Formation date: 1. January 1993
EU member since: 1. May 2004
Membership in international organisations: UN, OECD, WTO, V4, NATO, EU
Area: 49,035 km2
Population: 5,429,763 (2010, June 30)
Population density: 111/sq km; 287/sq mi
Official language: Slovak
Capital: Bratislava (population: 430,000)
Largest cities (by population): Bratislava, Košice, Prešov, Nitra, Žilina, Banská Bystrica
8 self-governing regions (Bratislava, Trnava, Trenčín, Nitra, Žilina, Banská Bystrica, Prešov, Košice)
The Slovak Republic lies in central Europe. Relatively large differences in elevation are characteristic of Slovakia. Central and northern Slovakia is more mountainous; the Carpathian bow extends across these regions. The south and east of the country lie in the lowlands, an important agricultural area in Slovakia. The most important river is the Danube, which connects the capital Bratislava with two European metropolises - Vienna and Budapest.
Hungary (679 km), Poland (597.5 km), Czech Republic (265 km), Austria (127.2 km), Ukraine (98 km)
The Slovak Republic is located in a moderate zone with characteristic changes of season. The average daily temperature is -2ºC in winter and 21ºC in summer. The coldest month is January; the warmest are July and August. Snow remains on the ground an average of 130 days per year in the highest elevations.
Central European time (GMT +1 hour), daylight savings beginning on the last Sunday in March and ending on the last Sunday in October - GMT+2
Direct international telephone connection is possible with numerous countries in the world. IDD is possible. Calls in Slovakia - SR country code: +421 and the area code of the given city/region (e.g. Bratislava 02)
Calls abroad - use code: 00 + the appropriate country code + local area code + telephone/fax number.
European continental cuisine is commonplace, but there are regional and foreign specialties as well. The selection in Bratislava is truly unlimited, including French cuisine, high-quality buffets at exclusive hotels, pizzerias, Chinese, Indian, kosher and Arab. Transport cafés and roadside restaurants present regional specialties - from Slovak specialties in the north to Hungarian cuisine and specialties of Danube fisherman in the south of Slovakia.
Visa: (as of 1 August 2005) A visa is required of all except:
a) EU citizens,
b) citizens of Andorra, Argentina, Australia, Bolivia, Brazil, Brunei, Bulgaria, Guatemala, Honduras, Hong Kong, Chile, Croatia, Israel, Japan, Canada, Republic of Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Romania, Salvador, Uruguay, USA and Venezuela for visits up to 90 days,
c) citizens of Monaco and New Zealand up to 3 months,
d) citizens of San Marino and the Vatican up to 30 days.
Bratislava was always a meeting point of the trade crossroads in Central and Eastern Europe.
Bratislava was once also known as Braslavespurch, Brezalauspurc, Istropolis (during Matthias Corvinus/Matej Korvin's rule), Pozsony (Hungarian name), Posonium (Latin name), Pressburg (German name), Brezesburg, Preslawaspurch, Brezizbuch, Bresbuch, Presporok or Prespork (Slovak historical name), Wilson's City ("Wilsonovo" - when Bratislava was free town during few months after Wolrd War I).
History of Bratislava begins in 400 - 50 B.C.when an important Celtic town - "Oppidum" was established at the current territory of Bratislava city, Slovakia. During the 1st through 5th century territory of todays Bratislava is known as "Limes Romanum" - fortified border of Roman Empire. Bratislava Castle and Devin Castle became important centers during the Great Moravia ("Velka Morava") empire. Great Moravia (Moravia Magna in Latin) was established in year 833 and lasted until 10th century.
From year 1000 Bratislava is a port of Hungary, later Austria. In 1291 Bratislava receives town priviliges and in 1405 Bratislava becomes "free royal town". During years 1467-1490 Bratislava becomes a seat of important university Academia Istropolitana (Universitas Istropolitana) founded by Matthias Corvinus. Between years 1536-1784 Bratislava is the capital of Hungary.
Since the 18th century Bratislava is a important place of Slovak national and cultural movement, firstly led by writer Anton Bernolak, later by leader of Slovak national movement Ludovit Stur. In 1840 first railway in Hungary is built and connects Bratislava with Svaty Jur. This is shortly followed by train connection to Vienna (1848) and Budapest (1850). During the late 19th century Bratislava is heavily modernized and industrialized.
In 1918 Bratislava becomes a part of Czecholovakia, in 1919 the name "Bratislava" becomes the official name of the city. In 1919 Slovak Comenius University ("Univerzita Komenskeho") is founded. During years of World War II Bratislava becomes the capital of puppet fascist Slovak State directed by Germany.
In 1968 Bratislava becomes the offical capital of Slovak Sociaslist Republic. In 1989 communist regime is overthrown in peaceful Velvet revolution and Bratislava is the capital of Czechoslovak Federative Republic.
On January 1, 1993 Slovakia becomes independent state after the Czechoslovakia splits and Bratislava is the capital.